CORONATION Street and Emmerdale have all recently tackled the difficult subject of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

But it was no doubt the Rotherham scandal which really lifted the lid and got people talking about this form of abuse which sees vulnerable children callously groomed, showered with gifts, drugs and alcohol with the sole twisted aim of sexual abusing them.

To help raise further awareness, the NSPCC is encouraging everyone to think about, recognise and speak out against the sexual exploitation of children so we can help to protect children and prosecute offenders.

CSE victims rely on others to spot the signs and help them because they may find it difficult to talk about what is happening to them due to feeling ashamed, scared, embarrassed or guilty. In some cases they may trust or depend on their abuser or even believe they are in a loving relationship with them.

Signs of CSE can be difficult to spot but may include going missing from home, care or education; being fearful of certain people or situations; having older boyfriends or girlfriends, or getting involved in gangs.

The effects of CSE, which can be devastating, can include mental health problems, alcohol and drug misuse, and criminal activity.

To help children understand exploitation and what healthy relationships look like, the charity runs the Protect and Respect service at its Carlisle, Liverpool and Sheffield service centres.

Adults worried a child is a victim of, or is at risk of, CSE can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Children can call Childline on 0800 1111.

If a child is in immediate danger then please don't delay - dial 999.

Helen Westerman, NSPCC Local Campaigns manager